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Sebastian Yorke

Just can't keep it simple

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Every **** endeavor I ran, specially the book ones... I just can't keep it simple.

 

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Here are some examples:
 

The one in the Egarian Dominion which was the one I screwed up the least, started with a "starship troopers"-style battle which got 1 PC to use faith in the fourth round, and ended up with a dogfight between bloodflayers and fury interceptors while a Mauler kept the player's ship away from the moon.

 

"Into the Maw" involved "dead space" exploration with ebon geists in the Righteous Path (RT PC lost an arm), and some crazy mannouvering in the asteroid field against Hadarak Fel's upgraded Light Cruiser.

 

The Lure of the Expanse derailed so much, the PC's Dynasty broke financially before they got past the Light of Terra (check my posts in "Tales of Glory" thread) and by that point, 2 RTs were already dead and another one was captured. 2 PCs dead.

 

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Am I doing it wrong? Are the challenges that harsh? Should I keep it simpler for faster play and more rapid evolution of the PCs and PF?

 

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I feel they become exhausted by morning (we usually play overnight on saturdays) and finish the game with a "Pheeeewww, I can't believe we made it through!".

 

They enjoy a lot each session, but I seem to fail on getting them addicted to the setting for too long and to come back more than 4 game sessions in a row.

Fgdsfg and Tenebrae like this

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ITT: GMs teach other GMs harsh reality and tough love.

More at 8PM.

 

I view it more as a support network for cruelty and whimsical unfairness. We reassure each other that yes, sometimes it's okay to wipe your players out with an unexpected macrocannon barrage from orbit. They deserve it. You're not in the wrong.

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Is, what you are doing the logical consequence of what would happen as a reaction to whatever action the players are taking? If the answer is YES then you can tell your players "well, next time, how about coming in a bit more subtle?" 

 

Although I think the solution to the problem lies in your group, next session sit down together, have a beer and instead of playing, simply talk with them about what happened over the last few sessions. Which scenes did they like, which did they hate, which did they love to hate (those are the best ones).

 

And you can probably tone down at least the initial difficulty of the encounters a bit... Ebon Geists on the Righteous Path, that's nasty (unless it's not a Starting PC Group).

Sebastian Yorke and Fgdsfg like this

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These sort of things get complicated in RT, since the game balance depends so much on how you've built the Expanse, what rules you use for character generation and which conflict resolution system you use (Actual RT or Only War rules, for example).

 

In general, though, there's nothing wrong with making it difficult on occasion - or all the time. I've personally never been a fan of the campaign stories that end with "and then we technobabbled and GM fiated our way to success".

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....

 

Am I doing it wrong? Are the challenges that harsh? Should I keep it simpler for faster play and more rapid evolution of the PCs and PF?

I'm with the 9/10'ths of the people here who say "No, you're not doing it wrong."

 

However, in your above explanation of Hadarak Fel's ship being upgraded to a Light Cruiser, if the PC's started off with a transport and you intended for them to go toe to toe with his ship, then it might a little disadvantages to the players.  If certain other factors were present which aided them (an Eldar ship appearing from no-where and severely crippling Fel's ship so the PC's could strike the final blow, the Righteous Path's Titan Lance Battery was still operational and his ship was sitting their in no shields up, etc etc.) then we are back at  "You're not doing it wrong."

 

IMHO and putting it metaphorically, it all really depends if you give your players a way out after digging themselves in hole.  If they fail to take that offered rope, then it's their fault they are still in a hole.  The reason behind that final help for players is because sometimes they don't see that hole coming while wearing their sunglasses.  Taking the cool route doesn't always pay off, but you can't blame them for trying.

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Agree with most of the posts. Complicated does not mean it can't be fun - but if the complications are part of the story there should be a way around them, and if they are player created, then the players should have some hint as to the risks they are taking.

 

It's worth remembering here that what you think is an obviously stupid decision from the players, or an obvious way out of a difficult situation you've created, may not be obvious to the players. Especially if they are not connecting with the setting, it can be difficult to pick up on hints.

Sebastian Yorke likes this

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"Hello, my name is Sebastian and it has been 2 sessions since I killed the last PC or destroyed a Dinasty voidship."

Does costing them Fate points count?

Because I cost my group some less than 3 hours ago.

On a spur-of-the-moment irrelevant side quest <_<:unsure:

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"Hello, my name is Sebastian and it has been 2 sessions since I killed the last PC or destroyed a Dinasty voidship."

Does costing them Fate points count?

Because I cost my group some less than 3 hours ago.

On a spur-of-the-moment irrelevant side quest <_<:unsure:

Next time they'll think before daring to go off your rails!

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I can't imagine having thrown Ebon Geists at my party while they were Rank 1, certainly not aboard their ship, though such a thing is surely possible when using Navis Primer.

 

I didn't upgrade Fel's ship to a Light Cruiser.  The party was in an Orion with Voss tubes and hit Fel's ship at close range with both torps, knocking out it's sensors and crippling it.  Fel struck his colors and is now doing cargo runs for the PC Dynasty.  My party isn't the bloodthirsty kind and I tend to reciprocate when dealing with human (humane?) opponents.  Xenos are another case altogether.

 

But none of that means you're doing things wrong.  Do your players burn fate points to stay alive?  If they do and you've still burned through 3 RTs then it's definitely a bloody game.  Still, it's all about the players and GM together having fun.

 

I'm all about killing off troublesome players and stupid characters.

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I can't imagine having thrown Ebon Geists at my party while they were Rank 1, certainly not aboard their ship, though such a thing is surely possible when using Navis Primer.

 

If I remember correctly, one specially lucky Ebon Geist managed to kill/incapacitate 12 guardsmen, knocked down the AM (who failed miserably on the fear test) and ripped off the RT's right arm (who had to burn a Fate point to stay alive) before reinforcement arrived (the geist wasn't killed, just ran away).

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I just threw 4 ebon geists against my group of 5 players (the 6th, the RT was absent) and they came off just about okay... taught a lesson about power armour not being the best starting acquisition :P

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I can't imagine having thrown Ebon Geists at my party while they were Rank 1, certainly not aboard their ship, though such a thing is surely possible when using Navis Primer.

 

If I remember correctly, one specially lucky Ebon Geist managed to kill/incapacitate 12 guardsmen, knocked down the AM (who failed miserably on the fear test) and ripped off the RT's right arm (who had to burn a Fate point to stay alive) before reinforcement arrived (the geist wasn't killed, just ran away).

 

 

Eh, that's just bad luck, happens. Something the players will have to get used to by either accepting it or planning well enough so luck doesn't play a roll (pun intended) anymore. Although if the players are not liking it, you might still want to think about toning it down at least a little bit (GMs can fudge numbers after all... I do it all the time on this side of the GM-Screen  :ph34r: )

 

I just threw 4 ebon geists against my group of 5 players (the 6th, the RT was absent) and they came off just about okay... taught a lesson about power armour not being the best starting acquisition :P

 

About that, I want to know more... did they use some tricks to try to tip the Chances in their favor? Was it a square fight 5 vs. 4 at the same time? How many Inferno Pistols did your players have?

 

Oh, and yeah, Power Armor is pretty useless in most situations. 

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I can't imagine having thrown Ebon Geists at my party while they were Rank 1, certainly not aboard their ship, though such a thing is surely possible when using Navis Primer.

 

If I remember correctly, one specially lucky Ebon Geist managed to kill/incapacitate 12 guardsmen, knocked down the AM (who failed miserably on the fear test) and ripped off the RT's right arm (who had to burn a Fate point to stay alive) before reinforcement arrived (the geist wasn't killed, just ran away).

 

 

Eh, that's just bad luck, happens. Something the players will have to get used to by either accepting it or planning well enough so luck doesn't play a roll (pun intended) anymore. Although if the players are not liking it, you might still want to think about toning it down at least a little bit (GMs can fudge numbers after all... I do it all the time on this side of the GM-Screen  :ph34r: )

 

I just threw 4 ebon geists against my group of 5 players (the 6th, the RT was absent) and they came off just about okay... taught a lesson about power armour not being the best starting acquisition :P

 

About that, I want to know more... did they use some tricks to try to tip the Chances in their favor? Was it a square fight 5 vs. 4 at the same time? How many Inferno Pistols did your players have?

 

Oh, and yeah, Power Armor is pretty useless in most situations. 

 

Astropath with force staff, Navigator taking pot shots with a hellpistol, Void Master with a power fist and heavy power armour, Missionary that was effectively unarmed but had 4 militia-cultist-veterans with lasguns and power swords and an Explorator that had a hellgun.

At first i threw a single Ebon Geist against them - the Explorator failed his fear and fled, the militia-cultist-veterans were shaken but stayed to fight and all other characters were fine. They managed to bring it down to 1 wound by end of 2nd turn but not before it got a Lightning Attack on the Void Master - hit hit miss (he may have had Heavy Power Armour but Warp/Toxic/Tearing attacks laugh at that) bringing him down to a couple of wounds from his 20+ starting. That Ebon Geist phased out and fled. Then they had to guard the Explorator while he did an extended Tech-Use for 7 turns. They formed a perimeter and went on overwatch or just held actions. The first couple turns was a single Ebon Geist charging at them from stealth, before the last two charged in together. Problem was i was failing every single Charge attack roll i made for them, while the players were doing incredibly well - the Astropath managed to bring explode one with his force staff as his total damage + channeled psychic damage was 3x the total Wounds of an Ebon Geist!

 

Overall the group felt challenged by them as they had no effective defence, but with power swords and a melee-psyker they could kill them quickly enough.

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